Dan Uggla is less than three months into a five-years, $62 million contract — and he’s not going anywhere.
I normally wouldn’t be passing along something that should seem obvious. But with the backdrop of Uggla’s struggles, I’ve had so many readers ask me, “Why not just send him down to the minors?” So it seemed time to address it with someone on the Braves.
I posed this question to manager Fredi Gonzalez following Thursday’s win over the New York Mets: Is it too early to even consider something like sending him to Gwinnett?
“We haven’t reached that point,” he said. “We haven’t even had a conversation about that. This is the first time anybody’s even mentioned it.”
And then this: “We’re trying. He’s trying. He’s battling. The season’s not over with.”
For what it’s worth, even if the Braves believed that sending Uggla to Triple-A Gwinnett could help him get his confidence back, that’s a move the veteran second baseman would have to sign off on.
Here’s your ugly numbers blitz: Uggla went 0-for-5 Thursday night. He stranded five base runners. His season average is down to .174. In the last four weeks, he is hitting .139 (11-for-79). He is hitting .127 with runners in scoring position and .184 with runners on base.
Gonzalez has tried him in six different spots in the batting order (Nos. 2 through 7), as well as sat him out altogether.
Uggla’s nine homers and 19 RBIs in 70 games project to 21 homers and 44 RBIs over a full season. He averaged 31 homers, 93 RBIs and a .263 average in Florida.
But for now, he’s staying here. How long the Braves choose to stick this out depends in part on how well the team does and whether the situation ever becomes desperate (in their view). But they’re not there yet.
By Jeff Schultz